I saw some pictures from our vacation the other day. Looking at myself, I couldn’t believe it. That fading, flabby, middle-aged woman was me? They say that the camera doesn’t lie, so that means my mirror is the culprit.
It’s a big, fat liar.
When I look in the mirror, I see me. It’s the same me that has stared back since puberty stopped shifting things around. The teenager looking for zits, the young mom checking for baby spit-up in her hair, the career woman applying mascara before work….me, me and me.
My grandmother once said, “I look in the mirror and I wonder how I got in this old woman’s body.” I laughed, but didn’t really understand. I do now.
It’s not that I haven’t noticed the gradual creping of the skin around my eyes, the reddening of my once-porcelain skin, or the sagging of my jaw line. I have. I do. It’s just that I see the essential triangle of my face – eyes, nose and mouth, and it all looks pretty much the same as it ever did. Reassuringly me.
Maybe that’s the thing to remember about this aging business. That the essential self, inside, doesn’t change with age. It only changes if we let it. Or if we want it to. And those changes, the ones that we make happen, can be wonderful.
As for the changing outer package that houses my essential self? Starting today, I’m saving up for a full body lift.